Bilharzia wrote:Although I love Harryhausen and I'm also one of the old guys, It's not all great. If you look at the "Jason and the Argonauts" Hydra scene, which comes before the famous skeleton fight, it's notable how flat it is, I can't help thinking this is an instance where properly done CGI would have made a difference. As it is this scene falls very flat (check it out - it's terrible! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow-dkIuIaz8), partly because it's just a build up to the skellies themselves, and it's deliberately not that exciting. The stop-motion technique tended to be very stagey, which works great for some scenes but not so great for others especially when you want to move the camera around. I think this is why modern special effects scenes are obsessed with swinging the camera around as much as possible simply because they can, in doing so they lose part of the appeal - which is taking a wider and slower view and letting the actors (and puppets) do their thing.
I agree on the hydra scene. That said, of the stop-motion scenes, for one to fall flat out of so many memorable scenes is not bad going. While the skeleton melee is justifiably lauded, my favourite will always be Talos. I can't have been more than 5 or 6 when I first saw the film on TV, and I remember hiding behind the sofa when Talos moved his head to stare blankly down at Hercules. The single impact of that one economical movement, coupled with the perspectives used, and the impassiveness of Talos itself... wow. Compensates tenfold the the hydra fight.